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Solo ops and their prices.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by CSRA Landscaping, Oct 24, 2001.

  1. CSRA Landscaping

    CSRA Landscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,232

    I recently got the transmission, a C6, rebuilt on my F350 for $481.50 and that's tax and all. I asked the guy how they could do it so cheap and still give a 12 month unlimited mileage warranty and he looked at me and said "I own it, I do the work, I don't pay anyone else to do it." Huh .... that really got me to thinking.

    This is what consumers dream of. Fast and reliable service at a great price. So, without screaming lowballer, how many solo ops out there feel that they can charge lower than what a huge corp. would charge and still make a reasonable profit?

    I've been turned down several times for being too high and consequently I've had to lower my prices but I don't feel badly for it.
     
  2. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,662

    I dont want to sell price. I want to offer a quality service at a fair price. I prefer the motto: Cadillac Service @ Chevy Prices. Im not the cheapest and Im not the most expensive, but I am upper middle-end according to figures I have been able to compare this fall.

    Kris
     
  3. scottt

    scottt LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 269

    I know this isn't exactly what you asked but this is what I have done. I can charge less than the big outfits and still come out with a decent profit. So when I first started I charged a little less, but not much. This was just until I got enough accounts where I was making what I wanted. Then I slowly raised prices until a few people cancelled their service. Then I still made as much as I was before but worked less. This opened up my schedule for a few more higher profit accounts. I plan to continue this every year. The best part is, most of the people who cancelled had less than perfect landscapes and now my accounts are usually the best looking ones in the area.
     
  4. casey

    casey Guest
    Posts: 0

    Being a lowballer can, in some circumstances, mean being a smart businessman even if you're not a solo opp. Volume & value=profits.
     
  5. cp

    cp LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 263

    I'm too new to giving advice on "How-To" do business.

    With that said, I agree with KUTNKRU, and will elaberate that in this industry there are a lot of levels, i.e., Solo part-timers with Craftsmans and Wal-mart pushers, Solo full-timers like myself that operate for a profit, and on up to the big corporations.

    A long story longer, I market myself to a specific niche within my capabilities and above the part-timers and price accordingly.
     
  6. Shady Brook

    Shady Brook LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 1,517

    That C6 is supposed to be one of the best tranny's Ford has ever made. I hope mine holds out a while longer.:D So it is a safe bet that he will not have to replace it, and there are a million out there so parts are inexpensive.

    I am near solo, having two part time guys. Problem is, I still have to have all the equipment as if I had two full time guys. I still have the insurance and trucks... in any event, my overhead is not all that much less with no employee as it is with one.

    If I can have guys do the same work as I (not likely) and pay them $10/hr, I can do work cheaper then if I do it myself. Beside if you work by yourself you can charge more, because you will do a super job. Customers like to have the owner on site, which I advertize, and will be willing to pay a bit more to talk to "the man" if there is a problem.

    If I am solo, I can and will charge a bit more per lawn then if I were big. That is how I see it.

    Jay
     
  7. CSRA Landscaping

    CSRA Landscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,232

    Kris, you and I agree.

    Scott, exactly what I was thinking of. Glad to see it worked.

    Casey, we're not lowballing, we're pricing competitively.

    CP, TELL me about it! Lotsa craftsman mowers out there. I can't hang with 'em. ;)

    Shady Brook, that was my problem although I was approaching the situation as if I were an established company and tried to skip the grubbing.

    This is good, it's what I wanted. Let's keep it going.
     
  8. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,940

    I'd be a little leary of the work done for $481.50. Every trans that I had rebuilt cost about a grand when all was said and done. These were TH350's and TH400's both 4x4.

    Parts and taxes $181.50 (maybe?) and that leaves $300 to put on lift remove front and rear driveshafts, remove transfer case (slide back) drain fluid, drop tranny, wheel over to workbench (thats over 1 hr there $65/hr) dissassemble, ...blah...blah...blah. and reverse un-install procedures. I cant see how he did it? Maybe it was just a "in truck rebuild"? Transmissions are mysterious and if treated correctly will last.

    I'd look into what exactly he did for that $481.50.
     
  9. CSRA Landscaping

    CSRA Landscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,232

    TLS, I don't know how it is in PA but here in Dixie, every shade tree mechanic can do better, so that may be a factor.:D

    At any rate, I looked over the paperwork and I got my warranty, I'm satisfied.
     
  10. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,183

    I looked at this then left.........then came back!

    Maybe you can do it cheaper than a big company but why would you want to? The work isn't any easier because your a one man operation.......it's tougher because you don't have the extra help. You can only do so much in a day by yourself, why not get the most out of it. I understand your question but don't see the need to be real cheap just to get work..............it's hard work either way you look at it so you need to charge a good price to do it.
     

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